The dream of turning your woodworking hobby into a full time profession is a common one. If you’ve developed a passion for wood, as Hendrik has, then you want to spend your life designing and crafting fine pieces one at a time. Hendrik will be the first to tell you that there is more to developing a career in this area than just the woodworking skills. There are business skills required as well, from marketing to bookkeeping, accounting, taxation and so on. And Hendrik offers a full program on the topic of “Starting and Running a Woodworking Business”, focusing on the business issues such as finding customers and pricing your work.
However, aside from the various business issues, you clearly need to develop solid woodworking skills if you are going to be able to make furniture that a high end clientele will want. Most hobbyists never develop solid fundamental skills because time is scarce and the hobbyist never achieves the kind of focus required to move towards their goal. That is where private one-on-one intensive training comes in.
People are constantly approaching Hendrik for advice on turning their dreams into reality. Unfortunately, each year Hendrik meets far too many people who have completed a 2 or 3 year woodworking college program but still have very few hand skills to show for it. Many of these students go to Passion for Wood looking for in-depth hands-on training and Hendrik is shocked to find out that they don’t know how to safely use a table saw, mill up exceptionally flat and square stock or properly sharpen and tune a hand plane. Their drawer and frame-and-panel door building skills just aren’t there, nevermind learning how to fit them precisely. Upon questioning the student as to why he/she doesn’t already have these skills after 2 or 3 years in a college program, Hendrik is told that the program focused on a mass production environment. The courses centred on drafting, planning, CNC machinery, materials handling, business management and so on, but the material – wood – was somehow lost in the discussion. How can a long course in woodworking not focus on the properties of wood and the skills required to work it with your own hands?!
Hendrik has received feedback from dozens of students over the years who came to the conclusion that each week in Hendrik’s workshop is the equivalent of months in a large classroom setting. Hendrik’s courses involve one-on-one hands-on instruction at all times, making the learning more intense and focused. Hendrik takes his years of knowledge and refinement and distills them down to the essence of what you need to know to succeed at your craft. If you can afford it, Hendrik offers a full program that runs for 6 full weeks and covers a vast array of woodworking skills from designing to using machinery, using hand tools, staining, finishing, French polishing, wood science and a whole host of other topics. If a 6-week program is not possible for you, even 3 or 4 weeks gives you a head start that would take years to develop on your own or in many large class environments. If you are serious about becoming a designer/craftsman as a full time career, Hendrik’s “Passion for Wood” is the best starting point a person could ask for.